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Scout (Complete Adventurer p10-13) gains Uncanny Dodge at level 2, but what confused me is it's description, which states that a Scout cannot be caught flat-footed... and then explicitly references barbarian's Uncanny Dodge...

My question is: "Is the 'Scout cannot be caught flat-footed' sentence an integral part of the ability, and Barbarian's UD text is there as well, (meaning 'scout cannot be flat-footed (logical) or denied his Dex, even if he somehow were caught flat-footed'), or is said sentence something along the lines of feats' short descriptions, or just fluff, and the actual rules are in the referenced barbarian UD?"

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You’ll have to ask your DM; the rules here are ambiguous. The scout class description indicates that the scout’s uncanny dodge is the same as the barbarian’s, but then describes a different effect. Complete Adventurer is the primary source on what the scout does, but Player’s Handbook is the primary source on what “uncanny dodge” does.

  • Does the scout have a separate feature with the same name? Hardly without precedent—even just in core, the ranger’s “hide in plain sight” feature has significant differences from the shadowdancer’s “hide in plain sight.”

  • Or does the scout have the same “uncanny dodge” feature as the barbarian, and its description thereof is simply wrong?

The rules say a contradiction between sources should be resolved by the “primary source,” but that doesn’t help us here, because the question is which what we’re looking for the primary source of, scout or uncanny dodge.

And, unfortunately, the Complete Adventurer errata file does not mention uncanny dodge.

I would speculate that most DMs would rule that the scout has uncanny dodge, as found on the barbarian class, and that the description in Complete Adventurer is just in error.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "[A] scout cannot be caught flat-footed and reacts to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so," says the scout's uncanny dodge (CAd 12). To claim that the first part of the sentence is crunch when the second part is fluff—because no rules are associated with being able to react to danger before one's senses normally allow—has always struck me as an odd position to take. Does the game actually and clearly do that anywhere? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24, 2019 at 16:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I mean, “getting caught flat-footed” is game terminology, so if that was meant purely as fluff—which, now that you mention it, is sadly plausible—would be a wildly poor choice, I think. Even if you’re right and the game consistently treats sentences as atomically fluff or crunch, that would make this a pretty terrible garden-path sentence. But sure, that could be another way of resolving the situation. I wouldn’t feel comfortable moving forward with that resolution as a player, though, not without talking about it with the DM, so I don’t think it changes my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Dec 24, 2019 at 16:40

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